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Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2012 Apr;10(4):405-11. doi: 10.1016/j.cgh.2011.11.022. Epub 2011 Dec 7.

Awareness of surveillance recommendations among patients with colorectal adenomas.

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Department of Gastroenterology, Erasmus MC University Medical Center, Rotterdam, The Netherlands.



The efficacy of colorectal cancer screening programs depends on the rate of attendance at surveillance colonoscopy examinations. Increasing patients' awareness about the importance of surveillance might improve attendance, but it is not clear how much they know about their follow-up recommendations. We assessed the awareness of patients with adenomas about their surveillance recommendations.


Ten endoscopy departments provided access to their colonoscopy database for quality assurance; 2 datasets were obtained. We analyzed data from 4000 colonoscopies (400 per department) performed on patients with adenomas. All the patients were mailed a survey to determine how much information they had about their colonoscopy results and their follow-up recommendations. Data from 549 patients were included in the analysis. We also assessed surveillance attendance among 500 patients (50 per department) who had adenomas removed.


Of the patients analyzed, 85% recalled retrieval of polyps during their colonoscopy, and 85% recalled whether they needed surveillance or not. The indication for surveillance was recalled by 69% of patients (range between departments, 55%-83%; P < .01). Factors that were associated with awareness of recommendations were younger age (odds ratio [OR], 1.06; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.06-1.09), treatment by a gastroenterologist (OR, 5.53; 95% CI, 3.28-9.32), and presence of 3 or more adenomas (OR, 2.97; 95% CI, 1.29-6.85). Attendance among patients with adenomas varied among departments, from 60% to 89% (P < .01), and was not associated with awareness of patients about their recommendations per department (P = .59).


Not enough patients (only 85%) who receive colonoscopies are aware of their results or surveillance recommendations. Although awareness of findings and recommendations did not correlate with follow-up attendance, patients should be better informed about findings and their need for surveillance.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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